We left Bullards Beach State Park Campground in Bandon around 10AM and headed for the California border. The fish must have been in at the mouth of the Rouge River as the inlet was filled with fishing boats. We stopped for fuel and coffee at Fred Meyer's in Brookings, OR before crossing into California. The drive along the Oregon coast was nice but quite slow. In the early afternoon, we pulled over to have lunch at a picnic area near the Klamath River. We then drove through Redwood National and State Parks as we travelled along US 101. We turned off the highway to drive through the Avenue of the Giants (old US 101). We stopped in a large redwood grove and hiked around the huge redwood trees. We then continued south on US 101 and headed for the Napa Valley. We arrived in Sonoma County around 8PM and stopped for dinner at the Hamburger Ranch in Cloverdale. After dinner, we drove to the Calistoga RV park in Napa Valley and pulled into our campsite at 10:30PM. It was a long day of driving and everyone was tired. As we leveled the trailer and unhitched the truck, our new RV neighbor yelled at us for making to much noise at this late hour. That's what happens when you arrive late in RV parks where the distance between the vehicles is about 12 feet......oh well.
The Champoeg State Park and Campground was very nice so we meandered around the park in the morning. Sean walked down to the Willamette River with his fishing pole but the reel was jammed so he didn't get his line in the water. He then went to the frisbee golf course and played one hole. He said he got a 15 on a par 3 but sometimes he has problems counting above 10 in real golf (unless he takes off his shoes). We left the park around 1PM and drove south/west toward Dallas, OR. On the outskirts of Dallas, we visited the home of Ruth and Evan Firestone. Mark worked with Ruth at the City of Santa Monica before she retired and moved to Oregon. Ruth and Evan recently completed the construction of their new home on several acres. It is absolutely beautiful and it was nice to see them and get caught up during our short visit. We tried not to damage their new asphalt driveway when we turned around our 53-foot long truck and trailer in their front yard.......Ruth knows where to send the repair bill! After leaving Dallas, we decided to head to the Oregon coast. We headed west to Newport, OR and then travelled south on US 101 along the coast. We went from very hot temperatures to cool and foggy. We stopped in Florence and had dinner (leftovers) in the trailer. After dinner, we continued south toward the California/Oregon border and we looked for a place to camp. There are a lot of State campgrounds along the Oregon Dunes area but many had signs indicating that the campground was full. We decided to drive to Bandon to a large (couple hundred sites) State Campground. It was getting dark as we pulled into the campground and the sign on the entry said the campground was full. We went to the Ranger station and he said the campground was full but he would check to see if there were any cancellations. After a few minutes, he gave us the good news that they had a spot for us with a full hook-up.....we got lucky again! After we settled into our site, we took Denver for a long walk toward the beach.
We left Sunshine Valley RV Resort and headed toward the US border. It was about a one-hour drive to the Sumas border crossing. Since it was a holiday weekend in Canada, the border was busy and we had to wait about 45 minutes to get through the border check station. Once we crossed the border, we headed toward Seattle. There was a lot of traffic on I-5. We stopped for fuel and a cup of coffee in Everett, WA and kept driving south. The Seattle area was quite busy and smoky from the fires in British Columbia. We decided to get into Oregon before we stopped for the evening so we drove across Washington and into Portland, OR at around 7:30PM. We didn't have a place to camp so we decided to head to a Oregon State Park just south of Portland. As we entered Champoeg Heritage Campground, the sign said the the campground was full. We drove to the entry kiosk and spoke with the Ranger at around 8PM. She said that she would let us camp at one of their emergency sites (site that they use if there are problems with a campsite). We were so lucky! We got a great campsite with water and electrical hookup! The campground was packed with a large group of Geocachers (outdoor activity using GPS to find stuff). We made a late dinner and went to bed.
We drove from 10-Mile Lake Campground south on the Cariboo Highway. As we came into Williams Lake, you could see the damage caused by one of several forest fires in the area. The road was closed at 100-Mile House and we were detoured across Highway 24 toward Kamloops. After reaching Kamloops, we headed south toward Hope. We pulled into Hope and looked for a campsite. We discovered that Monday is a holiday in Canada and since it was Friday evening, most campgrounds were full. We called around and found an available site at Sunshine Valley RV Resort. It was an end site in the ATV area (noisy and dusty) adjacent to the sewer pump station. It was fine except it cost $98 Canadian for one-night (supply and demand)! It was very smoky in the area but since we had electrical service, we ran the AC instead of having the windows opened. We made dinner and relaxed for the evening.
After breakfast, we left Tyhee Lake campground about noon headed for Prince George on the Yellowhead Highway. There was a lot of traffic on this two-lane road and we got stuck several times behind slow moving trucks and campers. It was a long and somewhat slow drive as we covered the 220 miles to Prince George. We finally arrived at the Costco in PG at 5PM. We filled the truck with diesel and the trailer with propane then had dinner in the food court. We tried the Poutine (French Fries with gravy and cheese). We had some problems ordering as we thought it had different ingredients but after a moment, the food court clerk figured out what we wanted. It was pretty good but I don’t see it transitioning to the States anytime soon. We did some shopping then left Costco and drove to the truck stop to get diesel emission fluid (DEF). We called the truck stop earlier to confirm that they had DEF at the pump; however, you needed a special card to purchase fuel. We ended up going across the highway to another fuel station and purchased a 2.5 gallon container of DEF which should get us home or at least to a truck stop on I-5 where DEF is readily available. After putting the DEF in the tank, we drove about 60 miles south of PG to 10-Mile Lake Provincial Park. We found a spot near the lakefront; however, as we backed into the site, the front bumper of the truck caught a large bolder on the side of the road and that ended that. We pulled out with minimal damage and found another site and which we were able to get in without hitting anything. So now we have some minor bumper damage to go along with the broken windshield and the rock dings on the front of the trailer (one almost went through the aluminum shell). It was late so we all went to bed.
Today we saw the most bears we had ever seen in one day. Although we tried to get an early start on the day, we ended up leaving Kinaskan Lake at around 10am. Not soon after, at 11, we saw our first bear. Less than a minute later, we saw a mom and baby bear on the side of the road. On our drive to Stewart and Hyder, we saw a ton of nature. There were countless glaciers and waters falls, and a few places to get out and take photos. Although we never got out of the car, we rolled down the windows and took photos as Dad drove by. We made it to Stewart and Hyder, and had lunch in the airstream in the parking lot of the Fish Creak Wilderness Center (not realizing that wasn’t allowed). We then entered the Fish Creak Wilderness Center, and walked along the wooden path next to a creek with tons of salmon. The salmon were swimming up river and were really big. We continued to walk down the path and walked by people with giant cameras. After about 25 minutes someone pointed at a bear inside of the bushes right underneath us. We watched as the bear slowly walked into the river, and everyone was silent taking photos. The bear slowed and then pounced at a fish, but when it came up, it had missed. It got out of the river and walked on the opposite side of the bank and everyone moved down taking photos as it walked. It crossed the creek and went back into the plants under us. As my dad and I turned off our videos we realized we hadn’t taken a bear selfie! Luckily the bear was still in the plants and heading back to the river. As it got back into the river, we took an illusive bear selfie! Right as we turned around to face the bear, it pounced at another fish and got it. Although we weren’t taking a video, our mom got a bunch of really great photos! A bear hadn’t gotten a fish in the last two days there according to the log they kept, and we had spent around 25 minutes and had got to experience it! It was incredible! We then drove back across the Alaska/Canada border into Stewart to go the bakery but it ended up being closed. Instead, we got ice cream and Dad got a coffee. We headed back onto the road, and saw a bunch of more bears! There was a mama and baby bear on the side of the road (the second pair we had seen today!) and a really big bear in the middle of the road. After passing those bears and more, we headed into Smithers and got Boston Pizza. We then drove around Tyhee Lake before finally finding the entrance to the campground. We dumped our holding tanks and headed for a campsite. My dad helped a woman park her trailer by backing her car/trailer into a campsite. We then ate our pizza and went to bed.
We decided to spend the day at Kinaskan Lake. We had a late breakfast/brunch at 12:20 of pancakes, eggs, and fruit. As we (Sean and I) got the fishing supplies ready, Mom went through the car and ended up finding the flash drive with all of our zip lining photos! Then we took off to go fishing near the river entrance. It took around 20 minutes of paddling to get us and all of our fishing stuff across the lake in the kayak. As we explored a little and got all of our stuff ready, we realized we had forgotten the pliers! We decided to still try to fish. Sean taught me how to use the big fishing pole and I begun to fish. Sean picked up his line, and on his first cast, he got a fish on! I put my pole down and got out the camera and walkie-talkied my mom. I told her we got a fish on and she asked us how we were going to get it off of the line. We had no idea. As Sean pulled the fish in, we realized that it was hooked through its eye. After many tries to free the fish and about a million calls from my mom, we decided to take the fish home. I tried to catch one and on my fourth of fifth cast, I was able to catch one. Unlike Seans fish which was a pretty good size, mine was very small we were about to free it, but it had swallowed the hook. So we ended up having to take both of the fish home. We finally got back into the kayak, and in order to keep the fish cold, we paddled a little and every five or so minutes we put the fish in the water to keep cool. We got back to the airstream, and our dad cleaned and cooked them. We had it for a late lunch at 4 o’clock. Later, after getting different (and legal) hooks from our neighbors, Sean and I decided to go walking down to the fishing spot. It was a horrible walk… we ended up having to walk through a bunch of tall grass and were being attacked by mosquitos and bugs the whole time. Finally we got the place to fish. The only problem was that we would have to cross some water to get to the real entrance of the river… where we were before. Sean was wearing his waders, and he could easily cross, but I couldn’t. We walkie talkied our mom, and she told us not to cross or else we couldn’t fish. She said they were coming soon in the kayak and we should just fish from he spot where we were. We both knew we wouldn’t catch nearly as many fish if we stayed where we were. So just as our parents were turning the corner near the place we were, we came up with a quick solution. Sean threw his waders off, I pulled my wet hiking boots off, and we switched. The waders fit me perfectly, and my hiking boots were Seans size. Sean put on his backpack, and we left the fishing poles across the lake. Sean jumped onto my back and we went into the water. I was laughing so hard I barely made it across, and as I dropped Sean off on the other side I ran back through the water and got the poles. Right as I got across, our parents arrived. We fished for a little while, and when we didn't catch anything, we headed back. Sean hopped on the kayak, and I walked through the water. We finally got back, had a nice chicken, rice, and salad dinner with some cookies that mom made and ice cream. We watched a beautiful sunset at 10:15 and headed off to sleep.